Beyond BT

Spiritual Growth for Jews

Getting Your Money’s Worth

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that money is very often uppermost on my mind. Between basic living expenses, house expenses, two major yom tov seasons per year, and tuition, keeping up with the cost of Jewish living can be quite stressful. But Hashem does send chizuk in various forms, and I hope […]

Jumpstarting New Beginnings

Hey, long time no blog. I realized what the word blog means. It means you stick your head through a cardboard wall and there’s a bunch of people on the other side who revel in throwing wet sponges at your head. No one gets hurt (we hope). It may generate some fun…and here we hope […]

Please Tell Us How You Would Spend the Money

Please give us your input on How You Would Spend the Money for longer term Baalei Teshuva support efforts. Your voice can make a real difference.

Not Passing, and Proud of it

“Where do you study?” asked the shaddchun. “Yeshivas Ohr Yaakov,” I answered, “and before that I learned at Ohr Somayach.” “And before that?” she asked. “University of California,” I said. “And before that?” she persisted. Before that? “Uh, high school.” “Yes,” she said patiently. “Which high school?” Was she kidding? “Harvard School, in North Hollywood, […]

Going Cold Turkey (Glatt of course)

Mmm.., milkshakes, cheeseburgers..ham sandwiches…BLTs.. Cigarettes. Remember those days? Remember when smoking was cool and everybody- I mean everybody did it? Then suddenly the news broke that it caused cancer, lung disease and you tried to stop but just couldn’t? Doctors told you that you would die if you didn’t stop smoking, but in the back […]

Voice, Vote and Listening

Please give us your input on How You Would Spend the Money for longer term Baalei Teshuva support efforts. Your voice can make a real difference. If you don’t have much time, please vote for us in Best Group Blog and Best New Blog. We are also nominated for Best Jewish Religion Blog and Best […]

How Would You Spend The Money?

Some people are ‘starters’. They love to create and develop new products and ideas. Others are ‘finishers’. They are systems people. They may not be that creative, but they can take ideas and turn them into reality. A ‘starter’ will invent and patent a why-didn’t-I-think-of-that idea (a Shabbos lamp, for example). But without a ‘finisher’, […]

Why G-d Created Google and the Web

It seems clear that G-d created Google and the Web to connect people and to spread Torah. We were very fortunate this week to make some new friends at the Passaic Melave Malke, including Akiva who blogs at Mystical Paths. Akiva took photos and video’d (with his Canon camera) the first half hour of Rabbi […]

Cultivating a Love of Eretz Yisroel

From the moment I first came here to work on kibbutz, looking to experience the cleanest expression of communism in the Free World (…remember this was the 60’s!), and experienced the Land of Israel – the hills, the people, the smells, the songs, the connections – I knew that I was in love. It took […]

Kew Gardens Hills Melave Malka – With Rabbi Label Lam

Rabbi Yitzchak Kirzner zt”l told a story about a man who said that he is ahead of 90% of the world in his Yiddishkeit and when the rest of the world catches up, then he’ll work on growing more. But most committed Jews do not hold by that logic, we want to be a better […]

Using BT Passion for Outreach

I had the pleasure of joining the BeyondBT crowd with Rabbi Brody this past Motzie Shabbat. One point he made was BT’s are great at outreach, because they’re always burning with passion. In his previous post, Rabbi Horowitz notes his surprise at the amount of separation between the religious and non-religious in Israel. This is […]

Is it a Mitzvah to Vote?

Thanks to your efforts, we have made it to the finals in four categories in the Jewish/Israelly Blog Awards. So if you can take 15 seconds to vote (the rules allow voting every 3 days), we can get out the word and broaden our community. Best Jewish Religion Blog Best New Blog Best Designed Blog   […]

Sibling Rivalry-BT Vs. FFB: How Do We Stop It?

I’ve noticed along with others that there sometimes is an anti FFB sentiment running through some comments. I’d like to dispel people’s beliefs for a moment. First of all let’s realize that if it wasn’t for the FFB world, we wouldn’t be here today on this website (obviously Hashem is the ultimate reason we are […]

The Unsung Victories of the Baal Teshuva

How would you describe colors to a blind person, or a piece of music to a deaf person? Close your eyes for a moment and ponder how you would convey the images and sounds. At the very least it would be a daunting, perhaps even an impossible task. Similarly, how difficult is it for a […]

Inconsistencies in the Process of Growth

While I was in the process of becoming frum I found that many of my friends and family suddenly became big Talmidei Chachomim (Torah Scholars). They started noticing and commenting on discrepancies in my religious behavior. They never said it explicitly, but the implication was that I was being hypocritical. I fielded such questions as, […]

Passaic Melave Malka With Rabbi Brody

About 40 people were in attendance at the Melave Malka in Passaic last night, despite the fact that it is a vacation week for the schools and there was another Melave Malka in the community. We want to thank the Passaic Torah Institute for their hospitality. We want to thank Rabbi Brody for taking the […]

Rav Eliyahu Lopian on Equilibrium

From “After the Return” – P. 112 by Rabbi Mordechai Becher with Rabbi Moshe Newman Rav Eliyahu Lopian is quoted as saying ‘Every person looks at himself as though he is on a tightrope; half the world is on the ground to his right and the other half on the ground to his left.” He […]

Reminder – Rabbi Lazer Brody speaking this Motza’ei Shabbos, 1/21 at 8:30 PM in Passaic

Just a reminder that …Rabbi Lazer Brody will be speaking …at the first Beyond Teshuva Melave Malka in Passaic (the pizza is already ordered) …on this Motza’ei Shabbos, January 21st at 8:30 PM …at the Passaic Torah Institute – 441 Passaic Avenue …on the topic of “Facing the Challenges of Growth with Tranquility and Joy” […]

The Pierced Teen and I

I hardly ever sleep on airplanes. So after an eleven-hour Thursday night flight to Eretz Yisroel, I arrived Friday noontime, jet lagged and exhausted. I came to spend Shabbos with my daughter, who is studying in a seminary in Yerushalayim. Together we walked through the winding streets of the Jewish Quarter and enjoyed a beautiful, […]

Bridging Backgrounds

It’s very natural to try to insulate yourself with those who are as similar to you as possible. As a BT, we often form bonds with those who have gone through the same experiences as us – those who have also changed the direction of their lives to include Torah. This is a comfortable enclave; […]

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